Mary's Reviews > Adelita: A Mexican Cinderella Story

Adelita by Tomie dePaola
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's review
Oct 15, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: traditional-literature

From Booklist
PreS.-Gr. 2. The Cinderella story gets a new setting in this original fairy tale. DePaola uses all the familiar elements but removes much of the magic, giving this version a realistic patina that in no way diminishes listening enjoyment. Children will recognize Adelita's story: her father's remarriage and death; the cruelty of her stepmother and stepsisters; the longing to go to a ball, and her disappearance from the party. But here, her fairy godmother is a loyal family retainer; the "prince" is a childhood friend; and Adelita is recognized through her own efforts, not with a glass slipper. It's a bit disconcerting that the story's characters seem to know of the Cinderella story (Adelita' stepmother mocks the glass slipper), and the insertion of Spanish phrases into the text immediately followed by the English translation is clunky at times. But the text also has a fresh flair that is matched by the bright, airy artwork, in which shades of peach, teal, and lemon predominate. Mexican tiles frame the action and provide impressive borders for the lovely Adelita. Pair with Domitila (2000) by Jewell Reinhart Coburn, another Cinderella from the Mexican tradition. A glossary of phrases with pronunciations is a boon for tellers. Ilene Cooper
Copyright © American Library Association

I enjoyed this Mexican Cinderella story. I liked the realism of how there was no fairy godmother, there was no magic. I appreciated that in this story. I also liked the use of all of the spanish. However, I was bothered how the English translation immediately follows the Spanish phrase. I have seen other books where the translation is more smooth and understood in the text, rather than how it was done in this story. We have a Tomie DePaola author study in 1st grade at my school, and for some strange reason, I have never read this story to my students. I look forward to reading it to them during that author study and comparing it to other Cinderella versions. The illustrations are beautiful as well.
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03/31/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Katy (new)

Katy This version sounds like a good one. I like the different take on the relationship between Cinderella and the prince. At least he now has some importance other than being the prince, and he has a connection to Cinderella. I look forward to reading this. Thanks for sharing.

message 2: by Ruth (new) - added it

Ruth Thank you for noticing the problems with the insertion of Spanish and immediate translations--definitely not authentic to a native Spanish speaker!

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